10 REAL Secrets to Being an Unforgettable Youth Pastor

????????????????????????????????????????So, yeah, in case you missed it…that list from Monday.  Farce.  Not real.  Don’t do it.  Try these instead.

10.  Invest in parents.  They’re the most important spiritual influence their kids have (good or bad).  And most are desperately trying to hold their heads above water.

9.  Know your pastor.  Chances are, no one is ministering to him/her.  Maybe you are here for such a time as this.

8.  Balance mercy and justice.  Students need grace, but they also need guidelines.  Giving them both, with love, is a non-negotiable.

7.  Set boundaries for your family.  Not everyone will like that – but they’re all watching to see how your family ‘rates’ in your life.  It could be the most teachable moment you ever offer them.

6.  Invest in getting better, not smarter.  Regardless of how you pursue continuing education, make sure it’s sharpening your skills, not just your intellect.  (Nothing worse than a youth leader who knows all the answers, but has no idea how to deliver them!)

5.  Never go over budget.  Period.  We prefer the term frugal over cheap.

4.  Be seen.  The whole world is a red carpet and you are Lady Gaga.  Football games, grocery stores, and the church office.

3.  Guard your heart.  Though most will never know directly the accountability measures you set for your life, they’ll sure find out if you fail to have any.

2.  Sabbath.  Wherever you can for as long as you can.  Which if you’re being unforgettable in a lot of other ways, may not be much…and only in the bathroom.

1.  Love students.  People notice it.  And then they catch it.  And that’s when you truly become most memorable….

Straight Talk for New Youth Pastors 1

drill_sergeantI write a column for Group Magazine called The Youth Ministry Drill Sergeant.  Sometimes, I’m known for shooting straight – plain talk – ‘telling it like it is.’  :)   Today will be one of those days.  Inspired by a friend of mine (you’ll hear from him tomorrow), I’m throwing out three ‘gems’ of wisdom – straight talk for the new youth pastor.

1.  Parents are not your problem.  You are.  Stop viewing parents as the enemy.  They are the most important spiritual force a student will ever have.  If you marginalize them – you marginalize the student.  Build some bridges. Make an effort – even if they don’t.

2.  Don’t spend more time on programming than you do relationships and Bible study.  It makes your ministry a mile wide and an inch deep (and it might make YOU that, too.)  It’s a slippery slope – so pay attention to where your best efforts are being funneled.

3.  Your age is relative and does NOT make your more relatable to students.  What helps students relate to adults is care – concern – love – investment.  You will be old some day – and unless you’re using youth ministry as a stepping stone, you better hope your age isn’t the only thing you have going for you.  Use various age groups for leadership in your ministry – just make sure they all love God and love teenagers.  That’s what makes them relevant in the life of teenagers.

More straight talk tomorrow….this message brought to you by your friendly neighborhood drill sergeant.

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